We had to translate the SEP-specific macros from L^{A}TEX to L^{A}TEX2_{e} dialect.
In our translation, we aimed at two contradictory goals:
to ease the portability of SEP documents and
to be fully backward compatible.

To ease the portability of SEP documents, we developed a minimal
set of SEP macros.
SEP's minimal macro set contains only a third (26)
of the traditional SEP macro family (78).
This reduced macro set mostly deals with
the inclusion of Postscript figures (activeplot),
the inclusion of source code files (gprogblock),
with author information (author, email, keywords),
and SEP style definitions^{}.
All other commands are standard L^{A}TEX2_{e} commands.
We hope that the minimal macro set will enable
us to share our L^{A}TEX2_{e} macros easily with other organizations that have
similar needs (SEG, TRIP at Rice University, and CWP at Colorado
School of Mines.)

We recommend this minimal set for future SEP documents. To restrict
the processing of his document to the minimal set, an author needs to
define `LATOPTS = option=minimal` in his document's makefile.
However, the current default ensures backward compatibility since it
uses the superset of traditional SEP macros. This backward
compatibility will, we hope, simplify the transition to the new
document system.

Why do we use L^{A}TEX rather than any other text or word processing
system such as Microsoft Word? We have used L^{A}TEX in the past and
all students at SEP can write L^{A}TEX documents. We also have a legacy
of L^{A}TEX documents. L^{A}TEX still seems to be the method of choice
for mathematical typesetting, but we have not seriously tested some
attractive-sounding alternatives, such as
framemaker^{}. Additionally, since
L^{A}TEX2_{e} is freely distributed, we can include it on SEP's interactive
CD-ROMs.

11/11/1997